This morning, my buddy Ted Kluck (yeah, I drop names like Driscoll drops F-bombs) showed me a piece of a brilliant book proposal that he's putting together, the content of which is probably top secret. I can tell you this, though--it involves Ted taking advantage of my vault-full of bad '80s and '90s CCM paraphernalia. As such, the proposal made a passing reference to me, calling me a "reformed pastor."
Lower-case r. reformed.
Suits me just fine, although I don't introduce myself as such because my denominational affiliation is Baptist and, even though I have more theologically in common with most Reformed (capital R) ministers than most modern-day Baptists, to call myself such in a non-case-specific, aural context would just be confusing.
This stirs up in my mind the debate of late among the new Calvinists. Can you be "reformed" without believing in infant baptism? I would guess that the Reformed Baptist denomination would place their ballot firmly in the "yes" box, and so would I. Others--particularly those cats at Westminster Seminary California--strenuously disagree. In fact, at the Magnifying God Conference, Mr. YoungRestlessReformed himself, Collin Hansen, told us that Dr. Michael Horton had, during an interview all but forbidden him from using the term "reformed" as a self-designation (as Hansen is not a paedo-baptist).
Then, just a moment ago, I was preparing materials for my membership class this Sunday, when I came across the following chart:
I don't know what book it comes from (just that it's apparently #44); I got it from my friend Dr. Michael Wittmer (more name dropping; cf. my lateral dropping of Ted's name on Mike's current blog post.). But if the chart is an accurate (if overly simplistic) representation of the "family tree," then anyone from a Methodist to a Baptist to an Amish dude can claim to be Reformed (with or without the capital), because that's the branch of the Reformation from which we come. Of course, this has been argued before thousands of times, but to see something like this laid out visually--for me--is more compelling.
What I find strange is that Reformed Proper folks don't seem to mind credo-baptists referring to themselves as "Calvinists." (edit: some do have a problem with this, like this guy). To me, that's a much more specific term than "reformed." Why don't they insist that we follow every point of doctrine in the Institutes if we are to use that particular label? Maybe because they don't either...
Christmas Week at Christ Reformed Church - *Christmas Eve Lessons and Carols (Wednesday, December 24):* You are cordially invited to join us for our annual service of Lessons and Carols on Christ...
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